Global uncertainties fellowships announced

Thursday 14 May 2009

How individuals, communities and nation states form their ideas and beliefs about security and insecurity will form the basis for 14 new fellowships under the Research Council's Global Uncertainties programme.

The £5.5 million investment from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is anticipated to have significant impact both within the academic community and, where appropriate, on policy and practice.

As well as exploring how individuals and communities develop their ideas and beliefs about security and insecurity the fellowships will also look at why some ideas and beliefs can lead to conflict, violence or criminal activity. The Fellowships will also investigate how language, images and symbolism are used to change how risks and threats are communicated to, and perceived by, different groups.

Prof Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the ESRC commented "We are living in an uncertain world where a wide range of socio economic and demographic changes linked with the rapid rate of technological change are creating new threats to our security. These new fellowships will generate knowledge and develop understanding of these issues allowing us to produce more effective ways to prevent and mitigate threats."

Led by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Research Council's Global Uncertainties programme supports and helps to integrate multidisciplinary research on conflict, crime, terrorism, environmental stress, and global poverty.

For further information contact

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. The successful applicants are:
    • Dr M Bano, of University of Oxford, for 'Global uncertainties and support for Islamic militancy - female madrasas in Pakistan'. Awarded £416,641
    • Prof LJ Cameron, Open University, for 'Living with Uncertainty: metaphor and the dynamics of empathy in discourse'. Awarded £446,476
    • Dr K Cooper, University of Manchester, for 'Constantine's Dream: belonging, deviance and the problem of violence in early Christianity'. Awarded £601,104
    • Dr A El-Affendi, University of Westminster, for 'Narratives of insecurity, democratisation and the justification of (mass) violence'. Awarded £313,691
    • Prof T Farrell, King's College London, for 'Organisations, Innovation and Security in the 21st Century'. Awarded £438,678
    • Prof Sir LD Freedman of King's College London, for 'Strategic scripts for the 21st Century'. Awarded £650,793
    • Prof RM Gleave of University of Exeter for 'Legitimate and illegitimate violence in Islamic thought'. Awarded £594,251
    • Dr A Hammerstad of University of Kent, for 'The securitisation of forced migration: changing ideas and beliefs about displacement and their impact on security'. Awarded £242,866
    • Dr PR Higate, University of Bristol, for 'Mercenary Masculinities' Imagine Security: the case of the private military contractor'. Awarded £306,974
    • Prof DK Leonard, Institute of Development Studies, for 'Global Uncertainties: Security in an Africa of networked, multi-level governance'. Awarded £557,245
    • Dr L McNamara, University of Reading, for 'Law, terrorism, and the right to know'. Awarded £309,103
    • Dr C Rooney, University of Kent, for 'Radical Distrust, a cultural analysis of the emotional, psychological and linguistic formations of religious and political extremism'. Awarded £333,372
    • Prof NJ Wheeler, Aberystwyth University, for 'The challenges to trust-building in a nuclear world'. Awarded £538,013
    • Prof JR Wolffe, Open University, for 'Protestant-Catholic Conflict: historical legacies and contemporary realities'. Awarded £477,519
  2. Led by ESRC, the Global Uncertainties programme will undertake research to:
    • reduce the vulnerability and improve the resilience of communities, public & private organisations, networks, and infrastructure to natural and man-made hazards
    • address the emergence, evolution and resolution of conflicts in a changing geopolitical and economic landscape, including the role of social justice and how changing ideas and beliefs can underpin conflicts
    • understand and tackle crime (including trans-boundary crime) in the context of new technologies and changing global environment
    • develop and integrate technologies, systems and services for the detection and prevention of crime and terrorism and mitigation of its impacts, including acceptability, privacy and dual-use concerns
    • understand the impact of environmental changes on security including: ownership, control and access to natural resources (water, food, land, energy & mineral resources); changes in diseases patterns and emergence; the impact of extreme environmental events; and impacts on demographics and migration
  3. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
  4. Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); Each year the AHRC provides approximately £102 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from languages and law, archaeology and English literature to design and creative and performing arts. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,350 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute over a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.